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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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THE K5T1BA KOTO.                                              1SJ.
little frequented, in consequence of its distance from the main town. It is
supported by an annual endowment of Bs. 1,027, the rents of iie village of
Undi in the Chhatfc pargana. Close by is a very large quadrangular tank of
solid masonry, called the Potara-knnd, in which, as the name demotes, Krish-
na's c baby linen* was washed. There is little or no architectural decoration,
but the great size and massiveness of the work render it imposing, while the
effect is much enhanced by the venerable trees which overhang the enclosing
walL Unfortunately, the soil is so porous that the supply of water is rapidly
absorbed, and in every season but the rains the long flights of steps are dry to
their very base. Its last restoration was made, at considerable cost, in 1850, by
the Kamdar of the Q-waliar Raj. It might now be easily filled from the canal.
A small cell on the margin of the tank, called indifferently K&ra-grah, * the
prison-house,J or Janm-bhiimi, 'the birth-place/ marks the spot where Vasu-
- deva and Bevaki were kept in confinement, and where their son Krishna was
born. The adjoining suburb, in its name Mallpnra^ commemorates, it is said,
Kansa's two famous maUa*, t. 0.,  wrestlers,.' Chanmra and Mushtika* At the
back of the Potara-kund and within the circuit of the Dlrfl-kot, or old ramparts
of the city, is a very large mound (where a railway engineer had a house
before the Mutiny) which would seem to have been the site of some large Bud-
dhist establishment, It is strewn with broken bits of stone and fragments of
sculpture, and I found in particular two large but headless and armless and other-
wise mutilated figures of Buddha seated and fully clothed. In- this respect they
agreed with all the figures found in this particular neighbourhood, as also in
the position of the hands, wMeh are not crossed on the feet, but the right is
raised in admonition, while the left rests-on the thigh,, At the Kaakali tib the
statues are mostly nude; and at the Jamalpnr mound they are more commonly
standing than seated,
la connection with the discovery of Buddhist antiquities, allusion has already
been made to the temple of BMtesvar Mahadeva, which overlooks the old and
ruinous Balbhadra-kund, In its present form it is a quadrangle of ordinary
character with pyramidal tower and cloister built by the Mahrattas towards the
end of last century. The site has probably been occupied by successive reli*-
gious buildings from most remote antiquity, sod was at one isniB the centre of
the town of Mathtira, whiehJms now moved away from it more than a mile to
iihe east. In the earlier days of Bmhnaanism, before the development of the
Krishna cultus, it may be surmised that BMteavar was the special local
divinity. There are in Braj three oiher shrines of Mahideva, which are also of
high traditional repute is spite of the meanness of their modem accessories.